Thomas J. Tobin, Bishop of Providence, has authorized the recruitment, training and ordaining of a new class of Permanent Deacons for the Diocese of Providence. This is the first diaconate class recruited since 2008; they wiill be ordained in 2020.
The Office for Permanent Deacons sponsored information evenings early February for those interested. Please find our FAQ in the menu to the left under Deacon Formation Program.
"Whoever serves me, must follow me, and my servant will be with me wherever I am.” - John 12:24-26
About the Deacon Formation Program
Deacons are men, mostly married, ordained to service in the Catholic Church and serve in parishes, hospitals, nursing homes, prisons or other areas of ministry as needed. Canon Law and the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on The Church, Lumen Gentium, specify that deacons may baptize, lead the faithful in prayer, witness marriages, conduct wake and funeral services, distribute the Eucharist, proclaim the Gospel and preach.
The program will begin in September 2016, with the ordination scheduled for fall 2020. The Program of Formation will be four full years, with classes being conducted by the Diocese and the Theology Department at Providence College. Classes will be, approximately, one night per week with three “weekends” each semester, except summer, where the candidates will focus on a single academic topic or be on retreat, for the enrichment of their souls. Course instruction will focus on topics such as Fundamentals of Theology, Dogmatic Theology, Christology, Moral Theology, Scripture, Patristics and Sacramentology.
A college degree is not required, however all applicants must be able to master materials presented at a graduate school masters level.
Successful applicants must be at least 31 years of age and not older than 56 years of age on January 1, 2016 (age change effective February 1st, 2016). The applicant must be a fully initiated Catholic in good standing with the church. In accordance with diocesan policy, a full background check will be conducted for each person during the application process.
Applicants should be actively involved in ministry at either a parish or diocesan level and if married, be in a stable marriage of at least five years and have the support and agreement of his wife and family to pursue a diaconal vocation. If the applicant is unmarried, (single or widowed), he should be living a lifestyle consistent with the call to the ordained ministry of the Catholic Church.
There are currently 86 deacons physically located in the Diocese of Providence, 70 of whom are in active ministry. Previous ordinations to the permanent diaconate were as follows: in 1994, 23 deacons were ordained; 1997, 12; 1998, 10; 16 in 2002; and in 2013, 21.